• Guest Blog: The Myth of the Electronic Monitor (12/12/2018)

    By James Kilgore, co-director of FirstFollowers Reentry Program

    The first time I saw an electronic ankle monitor was 2009. Unfortunately, it was on my own leg. After six and a half years in prison, I figured this little band of plastic wasn’t going to be much of a hindrance. Wrong.

    For my first week of “freedom,” I was only allowed out of the house Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. I didn’t feel too free. The more I kept looking at my ankle, the more questions I had. They told me the device only tracked my location, but how was I to know it wasn’t listening to my conversations? When I went to sleep at night, I kept having visions that my parole officer was lying across the foot of my bed looking up at me. I knew he wasn’t there, but the vision wouldn’t go away.

    I ended up spending a year on this device. Eventually I adjusted (sort of) but I never stopped asking questions. I had to give my parole officer a list of all my movements two weeks in advance, specifying time and place. Any deviations from the list and I could be back watching my incarcerated brothers slamming dominoes in the prison day room. No spontaneous walks around the block to get some fresh air, no midnight pizza runs. How much sense did that make? I had done my time in prison, why should I have to do more time in my living room? (more…)


Pretrial Justice Working Group 2013 Annual Summit Materials

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Judges’ Perspectives

The National Judicial College has produced a new publication, Pretrial Justice in Criminal Cases: Judges’ Perspectives on Key Issues and Opportunities for Improvement. The report is […]


Welcome to the new PJI Website. We hope the site is easier to read, more intuitive and reflects our renewed energy.

The Problem

The bail system in America is broken.

Get Involved

There are many actions that you can take to help alleviate the issues associated with the current bail system in America. This is where we highlight […]

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Many people accused of committing crimes remain in pretrial custody only because they cannot afford a nominal bail. People with strong ties to the community who […]

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The Solution

Pretrial risk assessment and community-based supervision have been proven to be effective tools to determine who to release pending trial and how to help keep the […]

The Jefferson County Awakening

A few years ago a small group of criminal justice planners in Jefferson County, Colorado noticed the jail seemed to be overflowing with individuals waiting for […]